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Succession: TV’s darkest comedy is finally back – and the wait has been worth it


REVIEW: The wait has been worth it.

Two years have passed since we’ve last borne witness to the Machiavellian machinations of the deeply divided and troubled Roys, but now they’re back, with just as much engrossing and crowd pleasing antipathy towards one another.

The third season of Succession (which begins streaming on Neon on Monday, October 18, as well as debuting on SoHo at 9.30pm the same evening) opens straight after the second’s jaw-dropping finale.

Having been given the task of taking responsibility for misconduct on the family’s multi-media company’s cruise lines, the ambitious Kendall (Jeremy Strong) had decided to go rogue. Telling the world that his father Logan (Brian Cox) not only knew about the “animal behaviour”, but paid out money to cover it up, he has not only opened up the company to investigation, he’s violated confidentiality rules and his fiduciary duties as a director. Worse still, he’s seriously pissed off his father.

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After sidestepping a phalanx of reporters, Kendall plots his next moves, only to find himself shut out of the company offices. But while he’s forced to establish “a war room” in his ex-wife’s apartment, Logan is keeping the rest of the family on tenterhooks.

A terse, brief conversation with Kendall via chief operations officer Frank (Peter Friedman) ends with a promise “to grind his bones to make my bread”, while others urge the increasingly irascible and erratic patriarch to consider co-operating with any government inquiries. “But what if I don’t want to pull down my panties so fast?” Logan growls. “Then pull up the drawbridge,” youngest son Ronan (Kieran Culkin) suggests.

As the third season of Succession opens, multi-media mogul Logan Roy (Brian Cox) is facing a major crisis.

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As the third season of Succession opens, multi-media mogul Logan Roy (Brian Cox) is facing a major crisis.

As he contemplates whether chopping Kendall into a million pieces and throwing him into the Hudson or temporarily stepping out of the spotlight himself is the best option, destinations like Bosnia, Kuwait and The Vatican emerge.

“What do those places have in common?” muses Logan’s exasperated daughter Shiv (Sarah Snook). “I don’t know – they’re all made up? Lands with dragons?,” deadpans Ronan, before she reminds him that they all don’t have extradition treaties with America.

Eventually, Logan announces his intention to step away from being CEO, while still expecting to have “informal input on operational matters”, a move that immediately sparks in-fighting amongst those around him, as they seek to get the nod for the now vacant top job.

First debuting in 2018, Jesse Armstrong’s (The Thick of It, Four Lions) Emmy Award and Golden Globe-winning King Lear-esque tale offers a potent mix of sometimes Shakespearian and scabrously dark dramedy that’s kind of like Billions with hilarious acerbic asides, instead of pop-culture references. Fans of Six Feet Under, The Thick of It and The Newsroom will also find plenty to enjoy here.

If you are new to the back-stabbing and brutal behaviour of the family who run the world’s fifth-largest global media and entertainment conglomerate, then come for the witty one-liners and acerbic put-downs and stay for the narrative twists and turns, as each member of this excellent ensemble tries to grab their slice of the action.

Already a paid-up member of the Succession support group? Then simply sit back and enjoy another nine-rounds of top-quality black comedy, dialogue such as “the only reason your hands are clean are because your w….house does manicures” and pick your favourite for who is going to finish at the summit.

If you are new to the back-stabbing and brutal behaviour of the family who run the world’s fifth-largest global media and entertainment conglomerate, then come for the witty one-liners and acerbic put-downs and stay for the narrative twists and turns.

Supplied

If you are new to the back-stabbing and brutal behaviour of the family who run the world’s fifth-largest global media and entertainment conglomerate, then come for the witty one-liners and acerbic put-downs and stay for the narrative twists and turns.

It is hard to find an acting MVP amongst such a terrific deep bench of talent, but Cox’s (Churchill) Logan is definitely a force of nature, Strong (Masters of Sex) a calamitous delight and Snook (The Dressmaker) is compelling whenever she is on screen.

As I may have mentioned before, savagings and bad behaviour means Succession is not for the faint-hearted or easily offended, but doled out in a weekly dose, this may be just the deliciously dastardly dramatic escape you’ve been looking for.

Season 3 of Succession begins streaming on Neon on October 18. New episodes will also debut on Monday nights at 9.30pm on SoHo from the same date.



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